7 Replies
      Latest reply on Jun 6, 2019 6:41 AM by floeby
      floeby Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        Hi,

         

        Just a quick question:

         

        We are basically a platform matching people who don't have time to do chores with people who do. For the matching we charge a fee.

        Since the matching is virtual, we fall under the in-app purchase rules. Customers will be able to buy credits and subscriptions through the app using in-app purchases

         

        However, we would also like to offer our customers the opportunity to buy credits/subscriptions through our website as well, since we don't have to pay Apple 30% we could do this at a discount.

         

        We understand that we are not allowed to refer to or advertise this option inside our app.

        1. Are we allowed to do this (Spotify, Tinder do the same basically)?

        2. If so, are we allowed to advertise this outside the app (e.g. social media/ newsletters)???

        3. Are we allowed to still have a general link to our site... e.g. in our help section of the app to the info section of our website??

         

         

        Kind regards and thanks for the help,

         

        Floeby

        • Re: in-app purchases
          PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,145 points)

          For clarity - you are not selling the services but just the virtual connection.

           

          The terms of 3.1.3b are:

          3.1.3(b) Multiplatform Services: Apps that operate across multiple platforms may allow users to access content, subscriptions, or features they have acquired elsewhere, including consumable items in multi-platform games, provided those items are also available as in-app purchases within the app. You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase.

            • Re: in-app purchases
              floeby Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              indeed we are just selling the connection.

               

              I read article 3.1.3b...Could you elaborate what that would mean in our specific case? I do not speak legal very well

               

              If I read this correctly it says that we can sell subscriptions/credits outside the app,

              but it also says:

              You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase.

               

              if I post on social media: subscriptions now $10 on our website (so outside store and app!!!)....Would I be in violation of the Apple Strore Guidelines? Am I now targetting IOS users indirectly???  Or do general communications refer to communications inside the app??

               

              I can understand that you cannot refer to any of these payment options inside the app and store, but It would be kind of weird, if Apple also would want to dictate what you do outside of their store and apps (there are more apps that just sell conenctions and have different tarrifs, although I am not sure if they actively advertise that outside the app).

               

              Again many thanks,

               

              floeby

                • Re: in-app purchases
                  PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,145 points)

                  It’s a new guideline so everything is blind conjecture. The exact phrase is

                  “You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase.”

                  I read the first part of the sentence as saying you can’t have anything in the app pointing away from IAP. I read the second part of the sentence as requiring a balanced offer. So you would have to change “$10 on our website” in social media to “available on our website or through IAP.“. Just referencing your website or emphasizing less expensive on the website might violate the guideline. In particulr, I do not know if just stating “$10 on website or $12 on IAP” is a simple statement of fact or a violation. There are good arguments on both sides.

                    • Re: in-app purchases
                      floeby Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      Thanks, we just have to give our plan a go then and find out.

                      I (but maybe Apple can) cannot see anything wrong with just advertising subscriptions, and not stating the difference like:
                      subscription $10, just go to www.blahblah.com

                       

                      However, we should also be able to explain to our users (outside the app of course) the reason why there is such a difference in pricing.

                      If Apple would not allow even that it would start to feel very much like a protection racket.

                       

                      Would it not be time for Apple to have a good hard look at the percentages, more and more developers are complaining?

                       

                      Kind regards,

                       

                      floeby

                        • Re: in-app purchases
                          PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,145 points)

                          Again, anti-trust law is complicated. If Apple could rely on a definition of the app ‘marketplace’ as including all Google apps then their insistence that developers ‘pay’ 30% for use of iOS, support documents, access to all Apple customers, use across multiple products, security assurances, etc. would be quite reasonable.  After all, how would you sell and distribute your apps if the App Store closed and Apple stopped making iOS available outside of their company. ——— So Developers should be thankful. It’s the users who are being forced to pay 30% (actually 43%) more for apps and they may have an anti-trust claim, we shall see. ——— Now add the recent ruling that developers have an equivalent claim -that I do not understand. ———  But your stating to users that they can get your app for 30% less by going to your website is unfair to Apple.  Don’t they deserve a cut of your revenue for enabling and distributing your app? 

                            • Re: in-app purchases
                              floeby Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                              Thanks again,

                               

                              Interesting discussion in so many ways. I am not a legal expert, but I think there is a case for both sides. As usual the truth is somewhere in the middle .

                               

                              We will be careful with advertising the difference in pricing, but I still think we are allowed in e.g. our FAQ section of the site to explain why that price difference is there. Again you are right that  in the end it is the consumer paying that 30% and not the developers....but it would rip our business model apart if we'd pay for that 30% ourselves...

                               

                              I am grateful that at least if a person subscribed via our site (or an Android phone) he/she is still allowed to use his/her subscription (that is if I understood section 3.1.3b correctly.

                               

                              Thanks again

                                • Re: in-app purchases
                                  KMT Level 9 Level 9 (14,235 points)

                                       > he/she is still allowed to use his/her subscription

                                   

                                  Technically, I think they are only allowed to use the -items- obtained by use of either subscription. I'd not expect them to be able to manage an android-obtained subscription via their iOS app, if that's what you meant.

                                   

                                  For the user, using two apps would effectively mean managing two subscriptions...for the dev that would mean two payment schemes, two revenue streams, two refund methods, etc. As applies, the items/content are the only thing that cross over.